Introduction: Amy's Birthday

Amy Rose sat hunched over her desk, biting her tongue, and tapping her favorite pink pen on her notebook as she looked back over her checklist. It looked like everything was going according to plan: soon all of her friends would be over to celebrate her 13th birthday. It was weird to think that just yesterday, she'd been 12, and today, she was 13. Growing up was a gradual thing, yet it was celebrated as if it was an overnight transformation. She really didn't feel any older, and it wasn't likely she would be treated any different, either.

Amy exchanged papers and sighed at seeing the name at the very top of her guestlist. Thoughts of what Sonic would get her had dominated her daydreams all week, ranging from him professing his love and kissing her to him forgetting to come altogether or being a wet blanket throughout the party.

Sonic was as unpredictable as a box of chocolates - you never knew what you were going to get from him.

Lately, though, he'd been acting strange. Even for Sonic. Amy couldn't quite put her finger on it, but it was like he was more...thoughtful, maybe? She'd asked Tails, but he claimed he hadn't noticed anything. Neither had Knuckles. Typical guys.

Amy moved her eyes down the list. Of course Cream and Cheese would come. As would Tails, Rouge, and Knuckles. But Sonic? He was the obstinate one, wasn't he? And he had to be the one she had this humongous crush on. Of course. Love was never easy.

Amy straightened herself out and stretched a little, trying to get her mind off of him. She wasn't going to dwell on her rocky relationship with Sonic today. It was her birthday, after all, and she wasn't going to let some cocky, arrogant, selfish hedgehog ruin it.

She snuck a glance at the clock. Her party was supposed to start at 1 o'clock, and right now it was 5 til. They'd be here any moment.

Sure enough, she watched as Tails and Cream came, separately, yet they somehow ended up sitting together on the couch. Amy was happy for them, as they seemed made for each other, but she couldn't help but feel a pang of jealousy at seeing them together. Tails and Cream's feelings for each other were so obvious, yet they were too shy to ever admit it.

Shyness. It was something Amy could never understand; if you liked someone, she figured you had to step up and let them know. Yet, shyness had always been what she'd told herself about Sonic, that the reason he never admitted that he loved her was because he was too shy.

But really, who was she fooling? Sonic, shy? It was almost laughable to think someone as cool and self-confident as Sonic would be shy or afraid of anything. No, there must be some other reason.

He just doesn't like you like that, Amy...

No, it couldn't be true. She saw how he looked at her sometimes, when he thought she wasn't looking. For only a second or two, she could detect some sort of tenderness in his eyes...but only for a second.

Yes, Sonic really did care for her. He just...just...

So much for not thinking about Sonic today, Amy thought wryly.

Knuckles and Rouge came next, joking and teasing her about finally becoming a teenager. Amy joked right back, accepting their gifts and taking a solitary seat as the couple took her other loveseat.

Yes, all of her friends were paired up except for her. She was the only one sitting alone. On her birthday.

Amy, stop it!

The doorbell rang again, and Amy got up to answer it. It had to be Sonic. Oh, it'd be so nice to see him, wouldn't it? Yes, she would open the door and Sonic would be there, wearing that heart melting grin. He would sweep her off her feet and whisper in her ear "I've always loved you, Amy..." and kiss her and it would be so wonderful.

The pink hedgehog took a deep breath and opened the door, ready to behold the dazzling blue hedgehog.

"Hiya Ames. Sorry I'm late," Sonic said, chuckling a little.

Amy was rendered speechless upon seeing him. She didn't know why; usually the sight of Sonic prompted her to smother him in a hug because if she didn't he would run away.

But Sonic wasn't running now. He was standing right outside her door, with the same grin, blue fur, green eyes, red sneakers, perfect quills, looking cool and calm as always. Okay, maybe he looked slightly nervous. And his hands were behind his back.

Amy's heart skipped. What could he be hiding?

Suddenly, in front of her, there was a huge bouquet with flowers of every color, size, and shape. There had to be at least 50 of them. Amy stared at the colors, a little overwhelmed. Most of the flowers were still covered in dew. Amy moved her now-wide eyes up to meet Sonic's and had to smile at how bashful he looked.

"Do ya like it? I picked them myself, fresh this morning," Sonic said, his eyes never leaving hers. "I tried to get one from every place I could think of on Mobius."

Amy took the bouquet, her hands brushing his during the transfer. "They're beautiful." She pictured Sonic zipping around, stopping only to pick flowers, thinking of her.

Amy was surprised at how flustered she was. Although normally a bubbly girl, Amy had always been left speechless at Sonic doing anything nice for her. Of course, it didn't happen often. Maybe it was because she lived in her dreams so often and constantly told herself that they would never come true that when it was like she wasn't sure if she was still dreaming. She needed a few seconds to process it.

"Thank you so much, Sonic," Amy managed to say.

"Aw, no problem. Happy Birthday," he said, and then he winked and all anger or sadness that Amy had felt earlier that day just melted into a warm pool that spread through the rest of her body. She wore a delighted grin as she walked into her kitchen to look for a vase. She didn't know if she had one big enough, so she ended up splitting them up into 3 different ones, and placed them on the table next to her gifts.

Then the whole gang gathered around, and Amy opened her presents with delight, altough she couldn't help but notice that Sonic was quietly watching her the whole time, staring at her almost. It was kind of unsettling, but Amy really didn't mind too much.

It wasn't that she didn't like getting the spa set from Cream, Tails fixing her laptop, Knuckles' oh so thoughtful giftcard, and Rouge's gorgeous bracelet, as well as the strawberry cream cake and the singing and joking and laughing. And maybe they all said somethings to her, but as far as Amy was concerned, there was only two people in the room: her and Sonic.

Soon enough, the party was over, and her friends all went on their way, some hugging her, some nodding, giving her a chorus of "Happy Birthdays" on their way out.

Oddly enough, Sonic, usually the first one to leave, lingered when everyone else left. Amy watched him curiously, wondering when he was going to rush off.

"Did you enjoy your party, Amy?" he asked, wearing a simple yet heart-warming smile.

"I did. Thanks for coming, Sonic." He'd been really nice to her today, and she didn't want to make him regret it.

"You know Amy...I've been thinkin'."

Amy blinked, trying to calm her heart down. She had a feeling Sonic was about to tell her something very important.

"I've always seen you as a good friend. You're a valuble memeber to the team, too, and now that you're 13...I was thinking, maybe..." Sonic paused.

Dang it. Only Amy could do this to him. It really didn't matter how many times he'd practiced this, did it? Coming here and seeing her, how she was so expectantly looking at him...Sonic could see a guarded hope on her face, like she was willing him to say what she'd always wanted to hear. He knew what he was about to say would make her very happy. It wasn't that he feared rejection. It was just, once he said this, there wasn't really much turning back.

But Sonic had already considered this. He'd been thinking hard about it for the past few days. He'd come to the conclusion that it wouldn't hurt, in his spare time when he wasn't busy saving the world, to take her out once in a while and spend some time with her. She'd probably be easier to deal with, anyway. But he wasn't doing it to get her off his back, he was doing be nice. Right? He was doing it because she was a good friend and was tired of breaking her heart. He couldn't run from her forever.

Bottom line was, he had to man up and make a decision. And this was what he'd decided. To give it a chance.

So here I go.

"Amy..." Sonic continued, studying her green eyes. "Sorry," he said, laughing a little. "It's just, you're 13 now. And I think 13 is a good age to start dating."

There, he'd said it. Sonic watched as Amy's mouth dropped and her eyes got huge, feeling very pleased with himself.

All Amy could do was stare at Sonic as a light blush crawled up his muzzzle. Had he just said...She almost couldn't let herself believe him. She couldn't let herself be let down again.

"Don't you?" Sonic teased, his eyes dancing.

"D-dating?" Amy stuttered.

"Yeah, I figured it'd be ok if I took you out once in a while, like once a week or so...Would that be ok?"

Amy's eyes lit up and her mouth turned upwards. She'd pictured this moment a million times. This really wasn't a dream, was it? " you really mean this?" she asked softly, almost scared of his answer.

Sonic nodded.

"Oh Sonic, you do care about me!" Amy squealed and launched herself at him "Oh I knew you did! Oh Sonic!" Amy felt her eyes start tearing up as she clutched Sonic close to her.

For once, Sonic didn't try and dodge her or wince or anything. He just stood there, letting Amy hug him, smiling. It wasn't like he hadn't expected this. And he found it made him feel good to make her happy.

Suddenly Amy realized what she was doing "Oh, I'm sorry..." she said, retracting her arms and letting Sonic breathe again.

"It's alright," Sonic said, though he looked a bit flustered.

Amy, you have to get a grip. You have Sonic right where you want him so don't ruin this oppurtunity by making him regret this. You have to make him happy, too. Prove him right; you have grown up.

"Thanks so much, Sonic. You won't regret this, I promise!"

Sonic just smiled. "You ready to go?"

"Now?" Amy freaked. She hadn't been expecting this, she looked awful-

"Yes, now. Unless you had something else planned for today..."

"Oh no, I don't," Amy said quickly, painfully aware that Sonic could take off at any minute and have this all be another broken dream.

"Then let's go," Sonic said, taking her hand.